Airfoil partners with Babel to extend global reach

SOUTHFIELD, MI: Airfoil has partnered with London-based Babel PR for an affiliate relationship that will expand the firms' reach globally.

SOUTHFIELD, MI: Airfoil has partnered with London-based Babel PR for an affiliate relationship that will expand the firms' reach globally.

Airfoil has also established the Airfoil Global Group with the aim of creating a network of additional affiliate relationships around the world.

Airfoil and Babel will use their joint resources to coordinate programs for clients across the North American, South American, and EMEA markets. Agency teams will manage campaigns from Airfoil's Silicon Valley and Detroit Metro locations and Babel's London office.

The two firms have been collaborating for nearly four years on shared accounts. Airfoil initiated the formal agreement, which has been about a year in the making, based on a “rigorous” criteria of expertise, capabilities, geographic coverage, culture, and past performance, said Airfoil co-CEO Janet Tyler. Babel also appealed to Airfoil because of its strengths in mobile, she added.

Airfoil started its global group in the EMEA market because of new business opportunities, Tyler added. Many tech companies based in Europe, which is in the midst of an economic recession, are looking to expand into markets that are recovering and where technology is growing, such as the US, Latin America, and APAC.

“Babel has also referred a lot of leads to us,” Tyler added.

While Airfoil already works on several global accounts, the agreement with Babel formalizes its global offering. The agency will announce additional partnerships soon, particularly in the Asia-Pacific market, Tyler said.

“We've had good in-roads in the Asia-Pacific market, which is the logical next step for us,” Tyler said, adding that she spent last July meeting with nearly 15 different agencies in Singapore, Hong Kong, and mainland China.

“We're looking to knit together a very streamlined group of independent agencies that focus on the technology industry and can deliver goods and services specified to the needs of technology and innovation brands,” Tyler said of the goals for the Airfoil Global Group.

Airfoil is an independent firm specializing in PR and marketing for automobile and technology companies, with 52 employees in its California and Michigan offices. The agency reported $8.1 million in revenue in 2011 according to PRWeek's Agency Business Report, representing 20% year-over-year growth compared with the previous year. The firm named Tyler co-CEO last year, working alongside chief executive Lisa Vallee-Smith.

Launched in 2006, Babel is a specialist technology, media, and telecommunications PR agency that works in the b-to-b and b-to-c sectors.

This article was updated on January 24 with quotes from Airfoil co-CEO Janet Tyler.

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